For those who get nostalgic about school days past but also appreciate the adult-like world of happy hours, Public School 310 in Culver City creates an unlikely infusion of bar drinks and classroom naivety.
With clever decorative elements throughout the restaurant, there are bits and pieces of the classroom that may make diners reminiscent as they munch and sip on their food and drinks.
Whether it be the globes and textbooks placed on shelves, desk lamps on dining tables, or actual gym bleachers lining the walls, Public School 310 has taken creative efforts to theme its restaurant and please both the eye and the taste palette.
The concept of Public School 310 is derived from the quintessential European gastropub, but as a revamped, more polished version that functions as a full-service restaurant and bar.
The restaurant’s tagline suggests that the eatery seeks to provide “an education in the art of food and beer.”
With even the menus designed as composition books, it’s not surprising that the Public School’s happy hour has also been fittingly titled.
“We refer to our happy hour as ‘Recess,’” said general manager Colin Kerr.
Serving as the similar type of break time that kids would look forward to every day, Public School 310 provides specially priced food and drink Mondays to Fridays from 4 pm to 7 pm.
The food items not only have an affordable price range from $4 to $7, the menu of about 12 eclectic choices also makes for a versatility of options, from Mexican style grilled corn ($4) to crispy ahi tuna tacos ($7).
Some items even take a fun twist on the traditional school lunch, like the PB&J sliders with blackberry habanero jam and smoked bacon ($6).
The menu is also seasonal, which results in an ever-evolving menu that holds the potential to keep customers excited to come back.
As far as drinks go, diners can purchase $4-$5 beers during recess (including Moylan’s Dragoons, Dry Irish Stout, and the famous Hofbrau Munchen), with house wines and “Dean’s List” wines (such as the Mohua Sauvignon Blanc) priced at either $10 or $15.
Kerr, who is also a trained mixologist, proved the level of attention and care that the staff puts into choosing drinks and making concoctions by creating a cocktail on the spot.
The Yellow Smoke incorporates alipus Mezcal, pineapple juice, lime juice, serrano agave, and togarashi, a Japanese spice, which is placed around the rim. As Kerr effortlessly assembled the components of the drink, he elaborated on each of the ingredients he was mixing in.
“All of our syrups are made in-house every day,” Kerr said. “Our fruit juices are freshly squeezed as well.”
Kerr, who was trained under some of the top mixologists in Los Angeles, created the drink menus himself.
“I took over the craft cocktail menus,” he said. “My family was in the family business and I ended up growing a passion for liquor, beer, and wine. My favorite part about this job is being able to keep an open mind. The sky’s the limit in creativity.”
As someone who values originality, Kerr seems to be an ideal match for the restaurant that oozes creativity from both its interior design as well as its “recess” menu options.
“It’s exciting to see the reaction [of the customers],” Kerr said. “They keep me excited about my job.”
Three restaurants are under the Public School umbrella, with the following three numbers in its names representing the area of their location (Public School 805 is Thousand Oaks’ area code; Public School 612 is the restaurant’s street number in downtown L.A.). Located in Culver City, Public School 310 appropriately stands for the neighborhood area code.
Contact Corina Mun